It has become apparent that over the past several months the Chair of the Libertarian Party of California (LPCA), LNC At-Large Member, and the Chair of the National Convention Oversight Committee (COC), Mr. Malagon has:
- Intentionally lied to LP candidates
- Rigged the upcoming LPCA POTUS panel for a specific Libertarian Party (LP) candidate
- Manipulated the panel to benefit candidates of other parties
- Violated his fiduciary duty to Libertarian Party of California
- Accused, without evidence, two other members of the LNC of violating their NDA’s, leading to them being excluded from an executive session.
Since the announcement of RFK Jr.’s participation in the LPCA POTUS panel, I have talked to 6 different campaigns about the actions of LPCA Chair Mr. Malagon surrounding the LPCA convention. These campaigns were happy to talk, their frustration with Mr. Malagon’s lack of good faith was apparent. LP campaigns just want to get their candidates in front of delegates and they want that process to be fair and equal. Mr. Malagon has failed to create a fair and transparent nomination process at every turn.
Quick note about my sources: I will share when a campaign has publicly spoken on this issue, but will redact all other sources to protect campaigns from retaliation. Most of the following is based on email communications between Mr. Malagon and the campaigns. I would absolutely welcome an official investigation into these matters, and am willing to share my sources if campaign privacy can be maintained. I have already shared an unredacted version of this article with several members of the LNC so they can verify what I am saying is accurate.
We started this investigation when we realized from what campaigns were saying publicly that Mr. Malagon’s actions were far from transparent. Our first step was to gather some basic questions and ask them of Mr. Malagon. He has refused to answer any questions on multiple occasions, including from members of LPCA. His own behavior makes his lack of character apparent, and we realized that a full inquiry was needed.
The Libertarian Party of California is hosting two panels between POTUS candidates at their 2024 convention. As of the writing of this article; the first panel will have RFK Jr, Jill Stein, Micheal Rectenwald, and Mike ter Maat, and a second panel will have Cornel West and Jacob Hornberger. All three Libertarian candidates paid $3,000 each to attend their respective panel, RFK Jr, Cornel West, or Jill Stein, paid nothing. A full timeline of events and the type of source is at the bottom of the article.
Failure to inform all LP campaigns of a price drop for participation in the POTUS Panel (prior to the RFK announcement):
August-October 2023, multiple campaigns (Oliver, Campaign Y1, Campaign Z2, Smith) reached out to Mr. Malagon and were informed that the price to participate in the POTUS panel was $5k. No campaign purchased a $5k package.
Near the beginning of November, one campaign (Campaign Y1) was informed of a price drop to $3k to participate in the POTUS panel, they were also informed that there was a “first come, first serve” and limited to the first two candidates to agree. Another campaign (Campaign A2) said that Mr. Malagon “reached out” and told them about the price reduction.
The Chase Oliver campaign was never informed of this price drop or restriction until after the RFK Jr. announcement. None of the campaigns I spoke with was ever made aware of any deadline until after the RFK announcement.
Keeping some LP candidates from being aware of a potential second POTUS panel after the RFK announcement.
After the January 6th announcement of RFK Jr’s participation in the POTUS panel, many campaigns (Campaign X1, Campaign Y1, Mapstead, Campaign B1) reached out to Mr Malagon asking about participation in the panel. All of these campaigns were told that the panel was closed, but some campaigns were intentionally misled about which packages were available.
On January 6th, one campaign (Campaign X1) was told of only one available package for $2k, and was never told by Mr. Malagon about a second POTUS panel. On January 9th, two campaigns (Campaign Y1 and Mapstead) were told about the $2k package with no panel and also a $3k package including a second POTUS panel without RFK. A different campaign (Campaign B1) that also reached out on January 9th was only told about the $2k package, and not the $3k package that includes a second POTUS panel.
Looking at the time stamps on the email, there was only a few minutes between the emails sent to the (Campaign B1) campaign and the (Campaign Y1) campaign, with only one of them being informed of the second POTUS panel.
The campaign (Campaign X1) that reached out on January 6th was also never informed by Mr. Malagon of the second POTUS panel that other campaigns were told about.
Rigging the panel to benefit a particular candidate.
As mentioned in the previous section, all campaigns I spoke to that reached out after the RFK announcement (Campaign X1 on January 6th, and Mapstead, Campaign Y1, and Campaign B1 on January 9th) were told that the Presidential panel #1 was closed.
However, the Rectenwald campaign purchased its placement on the panel on January 11th, which is 5 days after the first campaign (Campaign X1 who reached out on January 6th) was told the panel was closed, and 2 days after three other campaigns were told it was closed.
Also, according to a member of the CA convention committee there was a deadline for LP candidates which RFK had passed. Considering that Rectenwald’s campaign paid 5 days after the announcement for RFK, it’s clear that Rectenwald’s campaign was allowed to pay for the event after other candidates were told the deadline had passed, and after they knew about RFK’s participation.
Rigging the panel against LP candidates, and for non-LP candidates
Consider these facts. First the ter Maat and Rectenwald campaigns both paid $3k to participate in the Main POTUS panel. Second, Mr Malagon failed to inform multiple campaigns of changes or of any deadline. And third, RFK Jr., Cornel West, and Jill Stein, did not pay anything to participate in the panel and were allowed to confirm after the deadline set for LP candidates. It is clear that Mr Malagon had one mission: to determine who was and was not on the POTUS panel.
LPCA making an in-kind donation to the campaigns of non-LP candidates.
Three campaigns (ter Maat, Rectenwald, and Hornberger) made donations of $3k each to participate in the POTUS panels. RFK Jr’s, Cornel West, and Jill Stein’s campaigns have paid nothing to the LPCA as of January 31st (California requires large payments and donations to be reported within 24 hours). The FEC states: “Goods or services offered free or at less than the usual charge result in an in-kind contribution.” Since LP candidates are being charged to participate in the POTUS panels, then it is clear that free participation in the panels is an in-kind donation. In other words, the Libertarian Party of California is making an in-kind donation to candidates running against the Libertarian Party.
Mr. Malagon’s actions are in direct violation of LPCA Bylaw 10, Section 2, which states “No [LPCA] state officer shall: Use any office in the Party to support a candidate of another political party.”
Making an in-kind donation to a potential Libertarian Party candidate.
On January 27, RFK Jr. stated that he is “looking at seeking” the nomination of the Libertarian Party. If RFK does end up seeking the LP nomination, a new light gets shed on the facts above. We have already established that Mr Malagon has favored RFK Jr. above many LP candidates. If RFK Jr. does announce his intention to seek the LP nomination, then Mr. Malagon’s has provided an in-kind donation to one LP candidate and not others.
Accusations against his fellow LNC members
During the February 4th LNC Ex Comm meeting, Mr. Malagon moved to bar Region 6 and Region 7 Regional Representatives, Mr. Tuniewicz and Ms. Vest, from a meeting, accusing them of leaking information from executive sessions (Note: this meeting would have been Ms Vest’s second executive session since becoming the LNC Region Rep). This resulted in in unethical disenfranchisement of the two members from the meeting. To date, the only evidence presented is that Mr. Malagon “feels strongly about his motion“. That Mr. Malagon’s motion came just hours after he called Ms. Vest “Jabba“, shows that Mr. Malagon’s actions were premeditated and intended to attack those he personally dislikes. Any other board would immediately censure Mr. Malagon for making such accusations without evidence.
It is clear from these events that Mr. Malagon has shown himself incapable of treating candidates fairly and equally, and does not have the best interest of the Libertarian Party at heart. One candidate was reported as saying “even if I paid the fee, there is no way I would be allowed on that panel.” As Lars Mapstead said, Mr. Malagon was “changing the rules of the game on the fly just as the duopoly does. Then trying to shake me and other candidates down for money.”
It’s bad enough to use party resources to promote an opposing candidate. It’s even worse when party resources are rigged against our own candidates based on the LPCA Chair’s personal preferences. It is the job of Libertarian Party leadership to be open and transparent with members of our organization, and it is especially his job to treat our candidates fairly. Mr Malagon has failed to perform his basic duties as Chair of LPCA, and should resign immediately, or be removed from his position by the LPCA ExComm.
But that should only be the start of righting these wrongs, Libertarian campaigns have been intentionally deceived, misled, and unfairly treated. RFK, Cornel West, and Jill Stein should be disinvited, or at the very least told they have to pay the same as LP campaigns to participate in the panels. And panels should be expanded to allow excluded candidates the same opportunity to participate. If a path towards an equitable solution cannot be found, then those campaigns who have already paid should be refunded the payments made to participate in the panel.
Mr. Malagon is also the chair of the Convention Oversight Committee, which is in charge of the 2024 LNC convention in DC. He refuses to divulge basic information to other committee members, and even works to remove people who ask questions. This, along with his actions regarding the LPCA convention and wild accusations against other LNC members, raise serious questions about his intentions with the 2024 LNC Convention. It is clear that neither delegates nor candidates will have any reason to believe he is acting in good faith. No one who has lost the trust of our candidates so thoroughly should be in charge of the convention.
Mr. Malagon should immediately resign from his At-Large and COC chair positions, or be removed by the LNC. Anything less is an endorsement by this LNC of his corruption and unprofessionalism.
Timeline of LPCA situation:
August-October 2023: Campaigns who reached out were told that there was a $5k package that included a POTUS panel, and a $3k package that did not.
November 8th, 2022: Campaign Y1 was informed of a price drop to $3k for inclusion in the POTUS panel, and informed of a “first come first served” policy.
November 21, 2022: ter Maat campaign purchases the $3k package
November 2023: Campaign A2 is informed of the price drop
January 5th 2024: RFK’s participation in the POTUS panel is announced
January 6th, 2024: Campaign X1 is told the panel is closed, and is only told about a $2k package that does not include a panel. Mr. Malagon makes no mention of a second panel.
January 9th, 2024: Mapstead campaign is told the first panel is closed, and and is told about a $2k package that does not include a panel, and about a $3k package that does include a second panel
January 9th, 2024 2:01 PM: Campaign B1 is told the first panel is closed, and is only told about a $2k package that does not include a panel. Mr. Malagon makes no mention of a second panel.
January 9th, 2024 2:12 PM: Campaign Y1 is told the first panel is closed, and and is told about a $2k package that does not include a panel, and about a $3k package that does include a second panel
January 11th, 2024: Rectenwald campaign pays $3k for participation in the first POTUS panel.
January 11th, 2024: Charles Ballay pays $2,000, (He also paid $500 on December 21, 2023) he is not listed as included in the second POTUS panel until January 31st. (screenshot of program from January 30th)
January 19th, 2024: Hornberger campaign pays $3k for participation in the second POTUS panel.
January 27th, 2024: Cornel West is announced as a participant in the second POTUS panel
January 31st, 2024: Jill Stein is added as a participant in the first POTUS panel.
January 31st, 2024: Charles Ballay is added as a participant in the second POTUS panel. (Current Program)
January 31st, 2024: RFK, Cornell West, and Jill Stein, have not paid anything to LPCA
1 Source Redacted – Email communication between campaign and Adrian Malagon
2 Source Redacted – Testimony from campaign